Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Highlands of Mt. Sannine

To observe International Bio-Diversity Day on Sunday, June 13th we went trekking in the highlands of Mt. Sannine. Despite the high altitude (2500+ meters) there was an amazing variety of flora that made for a spectacular landscape of rugged mountains, diverse and colorful shrubbery and scattered snowfields. Christian (our guide) told us that the amount of snow was what it usually looks like in August. The snowfall this winter was minimal. The only person we met on our hike was Khalil the shepherd and his freshly shorn flock of 400  sheep and four sheep dogs. Watching sheep sliding down a ...

Cedar Wings Article on “A Million Steps”

The June/July 2010 issue of Cedar Wings, the in-flight magazine of Middle East Airlines, has featured a 10 page article on "A Million Steps". If you will be traveling with MEA this summer, be sure to check it out. [caption id="attachment_486" align="alignnone" width="502" caption="Padre's boots on a rest day"][/caption] “El-Hibri’s debut release, A Million Steps  takes you on a journey to a little-before-seen world, a side of Lebanon that cannot be reached by car or plane but simply on foot. Self-published, with text accompanied by the stunning photography of Norbert Schiller, the book ...

Journalist, Carla Henoud wrote an Article in the L'Orient - Le Jour on "A Million Steps". Check it out here:

Read the review in the Daily Star

You can read a review in the Arts and culture section of the Daily Star

“A Million Steps” in Book Stores Now

I am very happy to announce that "A Million Steps" is now available in all major bookstores in Lebanon. Virgin Librarie Internationale Antoine Librairie El-Bourj Way-In Library Librairie Orientale Maliks For online sales : or Will announce the release in Europe and the Gulf as soon as the stores are stocked.

Day 16 – Kfar Aqab to Baskinta

We start our hike in the hills above the town of Kfar Aqab. The town square is called Blata (The Rock). A reference to the very same in Amin Maalouf's "The Rock Of Tanios". In fact we can actually see Mr. Maalouf's house in his hometown of Ain el Qabou from one of the many vistas on our route today. It is a long and grueling 600m uphill to the cliffs below Shwar Baskinta but the views are worth it despite the stubborn haze that we have had for past couple of days. [caption id="attachment_429" align="alignnone" width="575" caption="The Cave of Sayf ...

Day 15 Hrajel to Kfar Aqab

Sultan drives us up to the trail head near the Roman temple of Faqra. This is the section of the trail that we could not do because of the crazy storm last year. We hike through numerous sweet smelling apple orchards and along the banks of a stream.The valley is called Wadi el Kalaa. We stop for lunch at the old monastery of St. Anthony the Great. The monastery seems abandoned but the shade from the large old oaks gives us a break from the strong sun. [caption id="attachment_432" align="alignnone" width="575" caption="Lunch at St Anthony Monastery"]

Climbing Mt. Hermon


To commemorate World Tourism Day, Pascale Abdallah (Responsible mobilities), organized a 'Green' ascent to the summit of Mt. Hermon (AKA Jabal El Sheikh). At 2814 m it is the second highest peak in Lebanon and has an exceptional view of three countries: Lebanon, Syria and Occupied Palestine). We got up at daybreak and commenced our hike in the town of Chebaa, famous among other things, for it's 7 watermills. It owes it's existence to the water and snows of Mt. Hermon. A tough hike by most standards: 2000 m of elevation gain that  is virtually all uphill, it took us ...

On Saturday August 8th, I took part in a protest against the attempt to construct a private residence in close proximity to the Kfardebiane natural bridge.  An extremely rare natural occurance, this land bridge (a product of hundreds of thousands of years of unique geological conditions) is massive in scale (52m long and 58m in height) and a breathtaking sight. It lies, unfortunately close to a private plot of land.  Environmental groups and NGO's have fought for its preservation for the past 15 years. Despite  decrees by the government declaring it  a national preserve the landowner continuously attempts to bypass ...

[caption id="attachment_305" align="alignnone" width="575" caption="Looking up the street towards Mr.Hourani's house in Marjeyoun"][/caption] Our last day of the hike seemed like a blur of reporters and town officials. It was quite emotional for us (The core team) as the reality of having hiked 440 km sank in suddenly. What I do remember clearly is that I promised myself I would come back to Marjeyoun.  I'm so glad I did. We took a leisurely walk in the town center, starting at the municipality. It was nice ...